ISDA GED student, Chris Garcia, masters the fine art of pouring a ceramic slip during his time at the ISDA Clay Studio as a Work Study intern. The Work Study program offers GED students a priceless opportunity to learn important vocational skills through partnerships with local businesses. Chris wrote that his time at the Clay Studio has definitely increased his self-confidence and has given him the chance to not only create but also profit from his creations, which he then sells at the Authentically Ajo Farmer’s Market.
Angel Garcia was a participant in ISDA’s GED/Work Study program and has now made the transition to working as an apprentice. During his time in the work study program, he lent an extra hand in a variety of projects throughout the town under the guidance and supervision of mentors partnered with the program. Some of these projects included general maintenance, painting, and simply lending an extra hand wherever needed. Tasks that he feels gave him a slight advantage going into the apprenticeship program.
Angel received his GED and has now been working as an apprentice with ISDA for almost two years. Not only is he grateful for the opportunity it has given him to learn important trade skills to further his career, but also the confidence it gives him to start on projects that need immediate attention.
“Everything I am learning right now is really useful and something I can use for the rest of my life. Right now it helps because now I can fix up my family’s home, especially with the bathroom and wiring. Now I see our home is practically a fire hazard. That’s why the trade I am most interested in and want to specialize in is electrical.”
One of the youngest apprentices in the program, Angel enjoys coming to work and is determined to take full advantage of the opportunities the apprenticeship program gives him.
“I always have something to do and even if I don’t know what to do, now I at least feel confident enough in myself and my skills to take the initiative. I never just stand around. I want to learn everything that I can. Eventually, I want to be able to move around and explore the U.S. and having all the trades that I learned here will help me always be able to work and support my family.”